At the beach in Koh Nang Yuan, Thailand

By Norbert Figueroa, an experienced architect, travel writer, long-term budget traveler, and photographer with over 13 years of travel experience in over 139 countries and counting. @globotreks


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Belize, one of the smallest countries in Central America, has the second biggest barrier reef in the world, only after Australia’s.

Its countless miles of reefs make this destination a haven for diving enthusiasts who are looking to dive in the turquoise Caribbean waters to find the colorful beauties that lay under the sea.

During my time in Belize, I’ve done over 15 dives all over the length of the Barrier reef.  They have all been unique and a great dive experience.

Not only the place is important to have a great dive but also whom you dive with has an effect on your diving experience.  So, here are my top 5 dive spots, including the companies I used.

Placencia, Belize

5. The Silk Cayes Wall

Location: Placencia
Depth: 100ft (30m)
Company: Splash Dive Center

This was my first deep dive while doing my advanced diver certification with Splash Dive Center. The Silk Cayes holds one of the biggest varieties of marine life found in Belize, including the Spotted Frogfish –which is only found in Belize.

During this dive, I was lucky enough to see one hiding under the corals.  Needless to say, I also loved hanging in the cayes, inhabited only by 25 palm trees. These cayes are about 45 minutes away from Placencia.

While the Silk Cayes is #5 on my list, Splash Dive Center is my #1 company in terms of diving quality, professionalism, and experience.

San Pedro, Belize

4. Love Tunnels

Location: San Pedro, Ambergris Caye
Depth: 85ft (25m)
Company: Ecologic Divers

This is the closest I’ve been to cave diving. While they are technically not caves, the Love Tunnels are small cave-like formations at the bottom of the ocean where you can swim in and maneuver through its tight spaces.

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Inside them, I saw a beautiful Spotted Drumfish and a Scorpion Fish. This dive spot is about 25 minutes away from San Pedro.

Ecologic Divers is also high on my list of companies I’d recommend while diving in Belize. They are a lot of fun above and under the water.

Christ of the Abyss in San Pedro

3. Christ of the Abyss

Location: San Pedro, Ambergris Caye
Depth: 60ft (18m)
Company: Ecologic Divers

This is one of the dives I was most excited about doing, only after the Blue Hole, that is. 

Christ of the Abyss is located in the reef only five minutes away from San Pedro, and it differs from most dive sites in Belize for one particular reason – it has a statue that resembles Christ at the bottom of the ocean.

While in reality, it is the statue of St. Peter, the patron of San Pedro, everyone refers to this statue as the Christ.

The best way to do this dive is by going with someone who knows the exact location of the statue.

I went with the guys from Ecologic Divers, who had the perfect GPS location of the statue and we descended right on top of it. Much better than to anchor in a buoy and start swimming to find it, like many divers try to do, and fail.

Let me tell you, it’s a beautiful life-size statue and it is impressive to see it under the ocean.

Once you start swimming away from it, it starts blending with the surrounding corals until it disappears from your view.

Blue Hole in Lighthouse Reef in Belize

2.  The Blue Hole

Location: Lighthouse Reef Atoll
Depth: 130ft (40m)
Company: While I used Big Fish Dive Center, they seem to be out of business, so now I recommend Blue Wave Divers.

This is the dive I’d wanted to do for such a long time, as it is the holy grail of dive spots in Belize.

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This Blue Hole is the biggest in the world and probably the most famous of all. When I dove here, I knew it was going to be an impressive dive, and it did not disappoint.

Diving to the deepest point possible at 130ft, swimming between stalactites and stalagmites, and watching the Caribbean Reef Sharks in silhouette all made for an experience I will never forget (I wrote more about my experience here).

The Blue Hole is about two and a half hours away from Caye Caulker or San Pedro.

Why it is not on my #1 spot, you might ask? Well, while the Blue Hole experience did blow my mind, there is one dive spot that did surprise me with its beauty and healthy sea life.

Don’t get me wrong, the Blue Hole is beautiful, but the beauty of this dive site is not in the marine life or colorful corals, but on the cave formations and stalactites that are found 100 ft in depth.

Blue Hole in Lighthouse Reef in Belize

1. Long Caye Aquarium

Location: Lighthouse Reef Atoll
Depth: 50ft (15m)
Company: While I used Big Fish Dive Center, they seem to be out of business, so now I recommend Blue Wave Divers.

This dive spot is part of the whole Blue Hole diving trip.  Long Caye Aquarium is classified as one of the most well-preserved dive spots in Belize’s Barrier Reef, and possibly one of the most beautiful – and I believe it is.

The site counts with one of the biggest varieties of marine life that include the Spotted Eagle Ray, Nurse Sharks, Sea Turtles, Barracudas, and more.

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This is the site where I’ve seen the biggest concentration of marine life swimming all around, which shows how healthy the corals are in the area.  The corals still preserve their beautiful colors, and many of the invertebrates still flow beautifully with the sea’s current.

Big Fish Dive Center did a great job in spotting and identifying many of the fish species around as well as guiding us through some interesting coral formations.

This is truly one beautiful site that contrasts the Blue Hole in its entirety but is a great complement and balance for the entire trip.

Have you been to any of these spots or used any of these companies? What other dive spots you recommend in Belize?

Lastly, if you need to find a place to stay, check this post with the best accommodation options across Belize!

Image 2 by Christian Ronchi 
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10 Comments

  1. I loved my dives in Belize. I went there to dive the Blue Hole and the weather wasn’t good enough, so I missed it. I need to get back down there!!!

    1. Oh wow… shame you missed the Blue Hole due to weather. 🙁 But, now you have a reason to go back to such a beautiful country!

    1. I know! When I heard there was a Christ statue at the bottom of the ocean, I said; “I MUST dive there!” Like you said, it’s so cool and unexpected.

  2. Cool pics! I wish I could go on diving especially at these spots. I only have tried a few in our locality but it does not really excite me that much.

  3. Thanks for sharing this. Belize is a beautiful country with many amazing diving and snorkeling spots. Will certainly return to Belize soon.